|Photo Credit: theoriginalwinger.com|
United were able to fend off a strong Arsenal team to keep themselves in the run for the top spot in the Barclay's Premier League while the bottom four teams continue their scramble to escape the relegation zone.
Saturday January 21, 2012
Norwich City 0-0 Chelsea: Despite dominating the match, the visiting side Chelsea were unable to put the ball in the back of the net and take home a crucial three points. Norwich were able to defend an overwhelming eleven corner kicks, ten wide shots and nine on target and only conceded five fouls. They kept their composure and held Chelsea to the draw. With the result, Chelsea are five points behind Tottenham who were unable to draw any points from their fixture with Manchester City on Sunday but are five points clear of fifth place Arsenal. Norwich sits securely in 9th place and are just a point below Stoke City.
Everton 1-1 Blackburn Rovers: A goal in the 72nd minute from Blackburn’s Goodwillie got them a vital point at Goodison park as they battle the relegation zone. A first half goal from Tim Cahill in the 25th minute gave the Toffees the lead until Goodwillie struck late in the second half. Rovers held more possession than Everton and earned themselves eight corners to Everton’s five. The home side committed an embarrassing fifteen fouls to the single foul from the visiting side and were definitely on the defensive. With the draw, Everton sits in 14th place level on points with 13th place Swansea and 12th place Fulham. Blackburn sits just inside the relegation zone but trail 17th place Bolton by just a single point.
Fulham 5-2 Newcastle United: Newcastle United took the lead late in the first half of an exhilarating match at Craven Cottage. The first half was fairly evenly matched but Newcastle pressed Fulham until they finally broke through with a goal from Guthrie in the 43rd minute. In the second half, Fulham were hungry for a goal but were unable to score or even maintain steady possession until Newcastle conceded a penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Danny Murphy capitalized on the opportunity and it was all smooth sailing from there. Clint Dempsey scored his first goal of the match in the 59th minute and just six minutes later was again assisted by Bobby Zamora to make the scoreline 3-1. Newcastle conceded a penalty yet again just three minutes after being slammed by the American playmaker and Zamora made it 4-1. Ben Arfa scored a final dignity goal for the visitors in the 85th minute but the goals didn’t stop there. Dempsey topped off his hattrick and the Fulham victory in the 89th minute assisted by none other than Bobby Zamora. Fulham sit mid-table in 12th place while Newcastle were able to stay above Liverpool in 6th place and level on points with 5th place Arsenal.
Queens Park Rangers 3-1 Wigan Athletic: Wigan once again fail to produce a favorable result and sit at the bottom of the Premier League as QPR defeated them at Loftus Road. Despite holding 60% of the possession, the visiting side only managed a single corner kick and seix shots on target to the nine shots from the home team. Helguson opened the scoring on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute and the Hungarian Buzsaky made it 2-0 in the 45th minute. Helguson would get another goal but it was disallowed in the 74th minute. Hugo Rodallega put his side back in the game in the 66th minute when he scored to make it 2-1 but Smith finished a Wright-Phillips assist in the 81st to finish off the visiting side. Wigan are still rock bottom while QPR are barely clear of the tight-knit relegation zone. The Rangers sit in 16th place separated by 18th place Blackburn and 19th place Wolverhampton by just two points.
Stoke City 1-2 West Bromwich Albion: A late goal from Graham Dorrans saw the three points go to a visiting West Bromwich Albion. Morrison was the one to kick off the goal scoring in the 35th minute and the visitors had the 1-0 lead going into the half. Dorrans goal came in the 90t minute after Jerome had put the home side level 1-1 in the 86th moment off of an assist from Jermaine Pennant. Stoke city held more possession and had more attacking opportunities but were unable to capitalize on them. Stoke are just a point ahead of Norwich city in 8th place and are trailing 7th place Liverpool by five points. West Brom are safely perched in 15th place a good 5 points clear of the relegation chaos.
Sunderland 2-0 Swansea City: Despite domination and coming out of the halftime break strong, Swansea were unable to fend off defeat to Sunderland. A goal and an assist from Sunderland playmaker Sessegnon were enough to finish off Swansea at the Stadium of Light. Swansea, as usual, held majority of possession; 68% to Sunderland’s 32%, but were unable to capitalize on their goal scoring chances. Sessegnon’s strike came early on in the 14th minute. Swansea rallied at the half but Gardner’s goal in the 85th minute finished them off and the Welsh side went home without any points. Sunderland sit at the middle of the table while Swansea dropped down to 13th place. They are level on points with Fulham but lack the goal difference to move up to 12th.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-3 Aston Villa: It would be another case of a penalty to kickstart the goals in this fixture as Wolves hosted Villa at the Molineux. Bent scored for the visitors in the 11th minute on a penalty kick but it only took ten minutes for Kightly to put the home side level 1-1. Edwards put his side in the lead in the 31st minute but Robbie Keane would tie it up after the start of the half in the 55th minute. Wolves midfielder Karl Henry was shown red in the 74th minute after he fouled Villa’s young midfielder Albrighton and then kicked him as he went to ground. The red card would prove costly as Robbie Keane sealed the win for Villa in the 85th minute with his second goal of the match. Wolves are second from the bottom and very well in the relegation zone while Villa sit mid table in 11th place.
Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Liverpool: Liverpool’s frustration continues as they fail to produce full points yet again against a struggling Bolton Wanderers. The three points were enough to pull Bolton out of the top relegation spot. David N’Gog was able to help in the defeat of his former club as he assisted Bolton’s first goal, scored by Davies early on in the 4th minute. Nigel Reo-Coker made it 2-0 in the 29th minute and Craig Bellamy and Andy Carroll connected to score for Liverpool in the 37th minute before the half. Liverpool were unable to rally in the second half and Steinsson finished off the visitors with Bolton’s third goal in the 50th minute. Liverpool needed the points but were unable to perform. They sit in 7th place a point behind Newcastle but with breathing room as 8th place Stoke City are 30 points short of the Merseyside team. Bolton sits in 17th place a point above relegation.
Sunday January 22, 2012
Manchester City 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur: City emerge the victors in the top four clash of the weekend and are still sitting high at the top of the premier league table. Despite the back-to-back foals from Jermaine Defoe and Gareth Bale, Mario Balotelli’s penalty kick in stoppage time would mean City squeaked by with a narrow victory at home. Neither team were able to score until David Silva managed to set up Nasri for a goal in the 56th minute. Just three minutes later, Lescott put his name on the 2-0 scoreline. Defoe and Bale’s cluster of goals in the 60th and 65th minute put the London side level but Spurs conceded a penalty kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time and dropped all three points in Manchester. City still sit in the number one spot while Tottenham are sitting in third place five points behind Manchester United.
Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United: A late goal from Danny Welbeck saved a crumbling Manchester United from a point gap that would have threatened their pursuit of the top spot. Antonio Valencia was the first to score in stoppage time of the first half with a thundering header past Arsenal’s Polish goalkeeper. Each team had their chances, including some fantastic plays from Arsenal’s teenage midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain but they were unable to finish until Robin van Persie finally got on the end of one of Oxdale-Chamberlain’s through balls and put it at the back of the net in style, nutmegging the United defense and paying tribute to his Opa on his 91st birthday. Danny Welbeck’s goal would come in the 81st minute off of an assist by Antonio Valencia. United still trail the league leaders by three points and Arsenal sit in fifth equal on points with Newcastle United.